This website is run by the lawyers in the Adolescent Health project at the the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL). NCYL is a non-profit legal organization that works to ensure young people have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for a fair start in life. NCYL believes that young people must be able to take ownership of their own bodies and reproductive decisions.

National Center for Youth Law inherited the California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide from the National Partnership for Women & Families in cooperation with the National Health Law Program. These organizations have long been committed to improving access to health care with a special focus on disadvantaged communities and individuals. Many lawyers and other professionals worked on the original guidebook, which NCYL has since adapted for an online audience. NCYL worked with youth focus groups to ensure the final website provides legal information and resources in an easy-to-digest way for its intended audience: pregnant and parenting youth. The work to make this website possible was funded by the California Endowment and the WebMD Health Foundation.

All the questions and answers on this website have been written or reviewed by the people listed below:

Our lawyers

Gudeman-200x300 Rebecca Gudeman is a senior attorney at NCYL specializing in adolescent health and privacy law. She runs NCYL’s adolescent health project including its two websites – www.teenhealthlaw.org and www.pregnantyouth.org.   Prior to joining NCYL, Rebecca taught at the Universdad de las Americas in Mexico City — where students got to laugh at the mistakes she made trying to teach in Spanish.  She was usually a good sport about it. Before working in Mexico, she represented youth clients in the Los Angeles area on a range of issues, including immigration, guardianship, education and pregnancy and parenting issues.
Quraishi-200x300 Fiza Quraishi is a staff attorney at NCYL, specializing in the intersections between the child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice systems. Prior to becoming a staff attorney in 2010, Fiza was an Equal Justice Fellow at NCYL, and provided direct representation for foster youth with unmet mental health needs. She also trained youth advocates on mental health law, and worked with other child advocates in California to develop ways to increase clients’ access to mental health care.
Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 4.16.27 PM Jalem Peguero is a Bridge Fellow at NCYL. She is a recent graduate of U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Before law school, she completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. After college and before law school, Jalem directed the startup of a youth center, where she provided career development and employment services to at-risk youth. She also spent time as an intern and volunteer prison staffer with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Jalem is originally from the Dominican Republic.

Our team

NoraLandisShack-e1444151370458-199x300 Nora Landis-Shack is the web editor for Pregnant Youth.org, where she organizes and creates content for teens regarding their health and associated rights. She will also be leading writing workshops and gathering stories for the Youth Voices blog. When Nora is not at NCYL, she works part-time as a Development Assistant at San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization that finds advocates for foster youth in San Francisco.